Scene from the film Bombay Beach
Scene from the film Bombay Beach
Scene from the film Bombay Beach
Scene from the film Bombay Beach
Scene from the film Bombay Beach

Bombay Beach

  • United States
Audio Tracks 

The rusting relic of a failed 1950s development scheme, the Salton Sea is a barren California landscape often seen as a symbol of the failed American Dream. First-time director Alma Har'el visits this poetically fruitful terrain and finds there a motley cast, including a bipolar seven-year-old, a lovelorn high school football star, and an octogenarian poet-prophet. Together they make up a triptych of manhood in its decisive moments, populating the Salton Sea's land of thwarted opportunity.

True to her roots as a photographer, video artist, and music video director, Har'el crafts an adamantly atypical and artistically innovative film—a dreamlike poem that sets the personal stories of these distinctive yet familiar characters to a stylized amalgam of observational documentary and choreographed dance, with music by Beirut and Bob Dylan, all cast against the atmospheric scenery of the titular ghost town. The result is a moving and extraordinary documentary experience—an evocative, symbolic portrait of those who live in cultural obscurity.

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  • Original Title
    Bombay Beach
  • Direction
  • Cinematography
    Alma Har'el
  • Editing
    Alma Har'el, Joe Lindquist
  • Music
    Zach Condon, Bob Dylan
  • Runtime
    76 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • United States
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Festivals
    • Berlinale Int. Film Festival (Panorama Section)
    • Tribeca Int. Film Festival
    • DocVille Belgium
    • Sheffield Doc/Fest
    • Edinburgh Int. Film Festival
    • Guanajuato Int. Film Festival
    • DocFest Kosovo
    • SanFic Santiago Film Festival
    • Filmmaker Magazine 25 Faces Film Festival
    • Sausalito Film Festival
    • Hamptons Film Festival, Summer Doc Series
    • Woodstock Film Festival
    • DMZ Docs, Korea
    • Vancouver Int. Film Festival
    • Palo Alto Films Festival
    • Camden Film Festival
    • JAX Jacksonville Film Festival (Oct)
    • Falhertiana Documentary Film Festival (Oct)
    • Bergen Film Festival (Oct)
    • Santa Fe Int. Film Festival (Oct)
    • CPH:DOX!
  • Awards
    • Best World Documentary: Tribeca Film Festival
    • Special Jury Mention: Sheffield Doc/Fest
    • Best Documentary: Guanajuato Film Festival
    • Special Jury Award: DMZ Docs
    • Best Editing Award: Woodstock Film Festival
    • Emerging Cinematic Vision Award: Camden Film Festival is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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